I don’t know about
you, but I’m just not a very flexible person physically. While I can remember as a child being able to
touch my big toe to my nose, the truth is that when I started attending yoga
classes in my mid-20s I could not bend over and touch my toes. In fact, I thought it pretty amazing that I
could bend over and touch my knees!
Needless to say, I
have not passed a basic flexibility test in ages. Even now, despite doing yoga for years, I am
not really a lot more flexible than I was that first class - though I can touch
my toes now (well, if I bend my knees a bit).
So, I was intrigued
when I recently heard a person describe body flexibility as nothing more than “energy
extending out.” She went on to say that
everybody, and every BODY, is flexible.
The example she
gave was a yawn. We all yawn, and more
often than not, we do a little stretch when we yawn, but even if we didn’t, we
are extending our jaws in the yawn, and thus extending energy outward.
So, okay, that’s
one flexibility test even I can pass.
Other examples she
gave included spreading our fingers, reaching out with our arms, lifting our
feet up while sitting, and then more complex examples involving moving our
bodies more. Yet, not one example
included touching your toes, or other body contortion.
The contrast to flexibility
is when we hold ourselves, and our limbs, tight to our body. This posture can be seen most readily when we
are hunched over a keyboard or other electronic devise.
While there are
times when it is healthy, and safe, for our bodies to be in a tight position,
it isn’t healthy if that is the ONLY position we place our bodies in. Our bodies tell us - even if just with a big
yawn - that they want to move and expand.
More than just the
ability to touch our toes, we all need a flexibility based on extending our
energy out and allowing ourselves to really take up the space we are in,
because a flexible body makes it much easier to experience a flexible mind,
heart, and outlook.